by Tim Ethan Doherty

The question is always ‘why’ somebody drinks. WHY do you drink? Why must an excuse be given; to something that is such a trivial question, from an obviously naively thinking person? Drinking is not a downward spiral to loneliness, NO! It is an elixir into vast expanses one’s mind cannot endure or achieve on sober bearings. Ones mind cannot comprehend or endure the utter devastation of the world if one actually knows what lies behind its loathsome façade. Our father always drank, as children we did not comprehend the short drinking glass by the end table, constantly clinking ice cubes, refilling and raising in a constant motion that inevitably controlled the metronome on which the world turns methodically each day. The certain scent associated with each hug and each embrace, only decades later would I learn it’s true wretched stench, when it graced my own breath.
I had attended AA meeting early on in my drinking, only to the bereavement of loved and lost ones. One grows irritated with the berating and badgering at times and to appease loved ones one may schlepp themselves to places they do not wish to be. The meetings were pointless; I only attended to keep her happy. But if ones heart lies truly with another, another of royal gold complexion, one who is clear, and hides nothing in her bowels, never disappointing only when there is none left of her, one who was with me at each of those meetings, working her wondrous numbing embrace on me, during each unpleasantry spoke of her by the others, then it was obvious I could not truly let her go at that point. I wasn’t ready, the meetings only made me more irritated and forced me to drink more. I refused to speak to others, mostly out of fear of slurred speech and the underlying smell of scotch on my breath.
She became keen nearly a month into my counterfeit recovery, she was no fool. I stopped attending meetings and threw rocks off the pier with a fifth of scotch to pass the time I was suppose to be there. She left, without saying anything one day when I returned from my rock throwing, she had taken kitchenware and all, even the mattress she had brought over where we shared so many happy moments. She had left no farewell note, I would have preferred even an angry note calling me all types of names, that would have made it less painful. I picked up a second fifth of scotch curled up on the unforgiving wood floor and contemplated the utter disregard humans have for one another.
Weeks lose relevance with each exhale. She neither contacts me again, nor writes, nor keeps her number. I would call at all hours of the night, exhumed in scotch and repentant to her. Most of the time I didn’t realize she had hung up until the extension was finally switched and the line was intervened by the operator, whom I would continue to plead to. I lost my job and soon the apartment followed. My family and friends had cut off the majority of contact with me, except for my brother. We would drown ourselves in drink daily and talk about our ardent disgust for society and others. The whole time hating ourselves and each other for it.
It was a year after she left that I decided to stop drinking. I had no sense of time at this point. My judgment of it would only come in foggy passing brought on by the sounds of birds and the way the trees appeared at a certain time in evening. The horror of the second sober night was too much to bear, she came to me in dreams, her face contorted and deranged, it shifted becoming one then another, her mouth would open pouring out venoms of indescribable fear. Yet through this, her eyes would always remain the same. She shrieked foreign voices, imploring me for something, what it meant to this day I still cannot say. In the morning I awoke, covered in vomit and sweat and decided the fear was nothing I could handle on a stomach not ingrained with scotch and beer.
I moved to California and took up a job substituting. The pay was terrible but it allowed me to afford an apartment, drink heavily at night and sober up during classes in the afternoon. I would consume myself in drink every night until around 3AM, where I would pass out on the grimy-brick-colored recliner my brother had sold me. I would pull myself up each morning from wherever I had fallen, and check the answering machine for a job. If there wasn’t one I would drag myself to the liquor store and begin my routine a significant amount of time earlier. If there was a job I would shower, attempt to sober up and walk to the school. The kids weren’t all bad, they did what they chose to do and I chose to sit there and not become ill.
There would be other women, some good some categorically deplorable. The problem was they all drank. One drunk is far too much for one household to hold, two is utterly hopeless. Fights broke out, things were thrown and broken, there were good times but mostly unclear and churlish. A second attempt at soberness was brought on by the death of my brother. I sobered up for a week and traveled back home for the funeral. Death constantly has a way of bringing people who detest each other back together, and of course she was there. She seemed mistreated. She told me she had met a man, and he was a drinker. Women are funny creatures, no matter what flaws they find in a man, they unknowingly replace him with another that is far less original and much more repulsing than the former, however synonymous all the same. We reminisced on the old times, ignoring the bad, things are much easier that way.
I was sober for four months, and we moved back in together, we bought a puppy, thinking it was much easier than a baby and it would provide us much less responsibility and upkeep yet all the same bring us closer together in our bonding over a solitary impressionistic-being. It failed miserably, no sooner had we begun to get comfortable we resorted to our old ways. I started drinking and she started telling me to stop drinking. Again, everything became interchangeable; with the exception that we now had two dicks to piss on the floor at night. The relationship failed, as they always due, anyone that says theirs hasn’t is either; a liar, in-denial or a Catholic.
Time will slow at a certain point every once and awhile and we will have the ability to appreciate the world for what it is, for even despicable creatures like mosquitoes. We can perhaps be epithetic to their plight and see it is not so different than ours. I had a moment like that the other day, but then saw one get tangled in a spider’s web. I had no qualms to release it because no one has ever helped me in my journey, but I had an epiphany, in the same motion I crushed the mosquito and slashed the web in the same motion, freeing us all.

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